A portable electric-vehicle (EV) charger that its manufacturer describes as "Canada’s largest clean energy mobile EV charger" will be deployed in B.C.'s East Kootenay region this week.
The assignment—coordinated by two companies, Teck Resources and Portable Electric (the charger's maker), and a B.C. nonprofit, the Community Energy Association—will be, according to a joint August 11 release, "a model for rural communities in North America to engage with residents on low carbon transportation solutions and a carbon-free future".
The collaboration is fully funded by Teck, which purchased the equipment from Portable Elecftric and which is building on previous work in establishing an EV-charger network in the region.
That initiative, called accelerate Kootenays, involved almost a dozen partners in a collaborative project "to create an electric vehicle charging-station network so EV travel to and within the region is convenient and reliable", accelerate Kootenay's website says.
The two-year infrastructure portion of that previous effort was facilitated by the Community Energy Association (CEA), which consults with communities and partners to "reduce emissions, conserve energy, and progressively transition to a low-carbon, resilient economy", according to its website.
The project resulted in the construction of 53 EV chargers in 40 communities linked by 1,870 kilometres of road, according to both the initiative's website and the August 11 release.
Teck has four coal operations in the Elk Valley, which is in B.C.'s southeastern Kootenay region in the Rocky Mountains.
“We are proud to partner with the Community Energy Association and Portable Electric to bring Canada’s largest mobile EV charger to the East Kootenays this summer," Jeff Hanman, Teck's vice president of sustainable development, coal, said in the joint release. "Teck is committed to supporting the global transition to a low-carbon future, including setting a goal to be carbon neutral across our operations by 2050.”
The mobile charger being utilized is described by its manufacturer in the release as "the largest battery-electric mobile charger in Canada, in terms of battery capacity, with two Level 2, 7-kilowatt chargers capable of providing 75 km of range per hour (RPH) of charging to EVs".
The charger itself can be recharged through solar arrays or existing EV stations, Portable Electric says, and it is capable of charging "multiple" EVs simultaneously. The company claims that the charger is silent, emissions-free, and can be towed on a trailer or mounted on a flatdeck or pickup truck.
Mark Rabin, Portable Electric's founder and CEO, said he is "surprised and humbled" by how quickly the market for EVs is growing. “We are excited to be a part of this collaboration to bring Canada’s largest mobile EV charger to the East Kootenays. Bringing electrification to the East Kootenays, and engaging residents directly in creating low carbon transportation solutions, shows leadership and provides a model for rural communities in North America.
"Portable Electric is surprised and humbled at the speed that the market for electric vehicles and clean infrastructure is evolving," Rabin continued, "and we feel strongly that initiatives like this will help bridge the gaps between connected grid infrastructure, ensuring that it’s not just big cities that will benefit from clean energy transportation.”
Although the mobile charger will be used to showcase itself at various community events in the Kootenays—such as concerts, farmers markets, and other local gatherings—during the remainder of the summer, the main purpose is to get residents used to the idea of electric transportaion in a region that boasts some of the most rugged terrain and coldest winters in the province.
"The mobile charger will provide an opportunity to deepen engagement with the public on the future of low-carbon transportation—including the applicability of battery and electric vehicle technology in cold weather and in rural communities," the joint release stated.
After the summer, the charger will be moved around the "broader region year-round". For scheduling info, interested readers are asked to visit the CEA site